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August 26, 2020

We looked briefly at the Supersix when it came into the shop a few weeks ago but as a Cannondale fan I wanted to ride it. The SuperSix has it’s origins in the 2004 Six13, the name coming from the atomic numbers of the carbon and aluminium that were used in the frame. The Supersix is of course fully carbon and in the hi-mod version the weight has dropped by nearly 400g over the Six13. The Black Inc edition we have here uses nano-particle infused resin to shed an extra 25g over the standard hi-mod frame. 

The chainstay, seatstay and dropouts are moulded as one piece with continuous carbon fibres running through the whole structure. The carbon layup is customised for each frame size to ensure that ride quality is the same throughout the size range. Stiffness is optimised so you can feel a little flex in the drivetrain - Cannondale say they can make it stiffer but only at the expense of chatter on poor surfaces.  Sharing the 25.4mm seatpost used in the Synapse and using a SpeedSave fork with some designed-in fore-aft deflection to reduce handlebar buzz you can understand why Cannondale pitch this as the ultimate all-round race bike.

Cannondale’s ‘system integration’ approach is used to reduce weight in the build kit - their own SiSL2 Hollowgram crankset is about 10% lighter than Dura Ace with the 10 arm, one piece, spider-ring eliminating any flex and looking stunning. This all adds up to a very light bike - when we added the Lightweight Meilenstein wheelset even this 60cm frame came in a full kilo below the UCI’s 6.8kg weight limit. Impressive.

I had a couple of rides planned when my Giant Defy needed a warranty replacement so it felt a good opportunity to take one of our top end bikes for a spin. The Cobblemonster London Classic is a Paris-Roubaix inspired charity “urbosportive” taking in every bit of cobbled street and rough road the organisers can craft into a route and finishes with climbs of all the steepest roads around Crystal Palace in South London. Winding your way through the backstreets of the city means you rarely carry any speed for any distance - you’re pretty much always accelerating or braking - so the 40 mile distance belies how tiring it is.   

A Trek Domane would have been the obvious choice but I wanted to see how the SuperSix would cope. The lightweight and stiff drivetrain were apparent every time I set off from a junction - this bike really moves and I was regularly leaving my riding partners trailing behind. What surprised me was the level of comfort - my Defy is regarded as a particularly comfortable endurance bike and I expected to find the Supersix punishing in comparison. However, my fears were unfounded. It was completely unfazed by the cobbled streets of Wapping and Shoreditch and I was still feeling fresh enough by the time we got back to South London get some Strava cups on climbs I normally ride 15 minutes into my 1 hour training loop. The bike corners like it’s on rails and I found myself cutting corners sharper than I needed to just because it was bringing a smile to my face.

A further ride out to Richmond Park confirmed the out and out speed that the Cannondale delivers - rolling down the one hill in the park on the drops saw a higher number on my Garmin that I’d seen before and putting the power down to sweep through the s-bends that follow was exhilarating.  Needless to say, there were a couple of PRs and a smattering of cups on a route I’ve ridden many times before.  

While many high end bikes draw attention to themselves with flashy tube profiles and paint schemes this could be the ultimate dark horse. Black on black logos, conventional looking tubing (though carefully aerodynamically optimised) and Cannondale’s characteristically beautiful tube junctions.

Originally selling for £8500 this 2016 bike, in immaculate condition, is now less that half that at Road Cycle Exchange. Check our current stock of Cannondale here -

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